The Star Wars universe is not an easy place to live. A galaxy far, far away tends to be embroiled in massive conflicts. Even when one major enemy is defeated, another soon takes its place.
The Separatists are defeated and the Clone Wars end, only for the tyrannical Galactic Empire to form in the wake of victory. The Empire is destroyed, only for the First Order to rise from the Empire's ashes. Oftentimes the only thing that can make such life bearable is romance.
Through the years Star Wars has told tales of many romantic couples. These tales have been spun not only in the movies, but also through television shows, books, comics, and video games.
Some of these couples are the beating hearts of the galaxy's best stories. Others had potential that fizzled out, and a select few were misguided from the start.
This list will only look at couples that have actually happened or officially begun. That means that disappointing as it may be, popular fan ships that haven't actually happened yet, such as Finn and Poe Dameron (Stormpilot) or Rey and Kylo Ren (Reylo), are not included here. Reylo came incredibly close to officially happening in The Last Jedi--and may very well happen in Episode IX--but as of now is not eligible for the list.
Whether a romantic couple is canon or now relegated to Star Wars Legends, all have played significant roles in either enhancing or hurting the overall universe. As such, both canon and Legends couples will be explored here.
With love in the air, it's time to unveil the 8 Couples That Hurt Star Wars (And 12 That Saved It).
20 Hurt: Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala
Anakin and Padmé's relationship was supposed to be the epic romance at the core of the prequel trilogy. They had potential as a tale of forbidden love and to become one of the best couples in Star Wars, but many elements got in the way of that.
Despite being an incredible political leader and Jedi Knight, Padmé and Anakin threw away all common sense and responsibility to plunge into their relationship. Their already immature actions were made worse with cringe-worthy dialogue.
How can we forget the sand conversation-- it was the most cringe-worthy part of Episode II.
Their relationship also hurt Padmé as a character. In The Phantom Menace, she was a fierce leader of her people, fighting on the front lines, and directing the charge into the Theed Royal Palace to take back Naboo from the Trade Federation.
In the following prequel movies-- especially Revenge of the Sith-- she became more defined by her passion for Anakin, than her tenacity as a leader.
19 Saved: Hera Syndulla and Kanan Jarrus
The Ghost crew of Star Wars Rebels was a family, and Hera and Kanan were essentially the parents that guided the family and kept them together. Their romance was an incredibly slow burn through seasons 1-3.
They were more focused on leading their family and the Rebellion, consistently placing duty before desire.
This made it all the more satisfying when they finally admitted their true feelings for one another in season 4. Hera and Kanan had done an excellent job of "raising their children."
With Ezra and Sabine able to take more of a leadership role, Hera and Kanan were able to let desire take hold, reminding themselves that it was for this kind of love that they'd fought and sacrificed so much in the first place.
Hera and Kanan's relationship and its eventual payoff that proved both beautiful and heartbreaking helped solidify season 4 as the best in all of Star Wars Rebels.
18 Saved: Obi-Wan Kenobi and Satine Kryze
Some fans feel Obi-Wan was too lenient with Anakin considering his apprentice's feelings for Padmé. The Clone Wars offered further insight into this as it revealed that Obi-Wan grappled with his own romantic attachment to Satine Kryze, the pacifist Duchess and leader of Mandalore.
Unlike Anakin and Padmé, Obi-Wan and Satine consistently placed duty before desire. They still trusted and cared for each other deeply, meaning they found ways to work together, that romantic spark constantly flitting between them in cute and emotional ways.
While they were stubborn with one another, they still had a mutual understanding of what could be lost if they got together.
Obi-Wan is often thought as being one of the best Jedi. His relationship with Satine further exposes the flaws of the Jedi Order, as it shows even Obi-Wan couldn't help but form a romantic attachment.
As problematic as he knew Anakin's feelings for Padmé were, a part of him must've admired them for taking the steps to live the kind of life he and Satine were never able to have.
17 Hurt: Finn and Rose Tico
Finn and Rose Tico are wonderful characters that have enhanced the sequel trilogy. They formed a beautiful dynamic and experienced significant character development during their time together in The Last Jedi.
The problem is that their relationship felt more like that of close friends than one of romance. They bonded, worked well together, and came to deeply respect one another.
Their chemistry did not hint of romance, until Rose kissed Finn on Crait. The moment lacked buildup and felt forced rather than earned.
No kiss or romance between them wouldn't have really changed the plot of The Last Jedi either. Rose still could've rammed her speeder into Finn's to save him from a needless sacrifice, because she deeply loves and cares for him as a friend.
She is a strong, empowered woman. Her story doesn't need a romance with Finn. The whole situation also seems to hint at the possibility of a Rey-Finn-Rose love triangle, which is not something Episode IX needs at all.
16 Saved: Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade
Of all the characters from Star Wars Legends, there is perhaps none more beloved by fans than Mara Jade. She was introduced as an Emperor's Hand--a Force-sensitive operative trained by and loyal to Emperor Palpatine-- ordered to terminate Luke Skywalker.
Despite this being the catalyst of their meeting, she and Luke later fell in love and even got married. They had a son--Ben Skywalker--and Mara Jade went on to become a Jedi Master.
It would be interesting if Mara Jade made an appearance in Episode 9.
Her relationship with Luke is a testament to the power of forgiveness and how the best romance can spark in the most unlikely ways.
Their personalities, beliefs, and strength with the Force ended up complimenting each other in beautiful ways. Now fans will have to see if the rumors are true about Mara Jade returning to canon in Episode IX.
15 Saved: Han Solo and Leia Organa
Han and Leia are the original and most iconic Star Wars romance. Their relationship was crucial to the original trilogy's charm and beautiful character development.
In both canon and Legends, for better and for worse, their love was integral to shaping the galaxy in the aftermath of Return of the Jedi.
They had their share of differences and are far from the perfect couple. What defines their relationship, though, is that they're always there to help one another when it counts.
Even when Leia was immersed in the realm of politics and Han was busy with the world of racing, they still showed up to support and save one another when they needed it most in the canon novel Bloodline.
Even when their son goes to the dark side and becomes Kylo Ren, they find a way to reunite and work to save the galaxy as in The Force Awakens.
14 Hurt: Jar Jar Binks and Queen Julia
The Clone Wars television series improved on many of the prequel trilogy's weaker elements. Even The Clone Wars couldn't improve on Jar Jar Binks, though. Queen Julia of the planet Bardotta enlisted Jar Jar's help when her fellow members of the Dagoyan Order-- a group of Force-sensitive individuals on Bardotta-- are kidnapped.
She and Jar Jar share a certain level of intimacy that is just as awkward and uncomfortable to watch as one would imagine.
Even the most annoying character in Star Wars deserves love.
The episodes where their relationship occurs are actually pretty interesting. They feature Darth Maul's mother engaging in a villainous plot in order to strengthen her connection to the Force and Mace Windu combating her efforts, all of which culminates in an epic showdown between the two characters.
Unfortunately, these events are largely eclipsed by the completely unnecessary romance of Jar Jar and Queen Julia.
13 Saved: Lando Calrissian and L3-37
With Lando that was embodied beautifully through his relationship with the droid L3-37. Lando said he stuck with her because of her unparalleled navigational abilities.
His utter devastation as she perished in his arms shattered Lando's facade. The moment exposed Lando's raw emotion and the depth of his compassion unlike any other moments in the films.
Through her relationship with Lando, L3 was able to channel her passion for droids rights during their mission to Kessel, where she led the droids to rise up against the Pyke Syndicate.
The Lando-L3 relationship is also positive in that it transcends the norms of human-droid dynamics. Love is love after all, even in a galaxy far, far away.
12 Saved: Thane Kyrell and Cienna Ree
Eventually, both Thane and Cienna began to lose faith in the Empire and what it stood for. Thane defected and joined the Rebellion, while Cienna remained with the Empire. Despite these obstacles, they did their best to try and allow their lifelong relationship to endure.
They did not sacrifice their ideals or what they believed for their relationship.
The novel humanizes the individuals within the Empire like few Star Wars stories ever have. In beautiful fashion, Gray weaves a tale of how love can transcend galaxy-wide conflict and war.
It is also wonderful in that both Thane and Cienna choose the side they believe in, while still loving one another.
11 Hurt: Jacen Solo and Tahiri Veila
Jacen Solo is the Legends equivalent of Kylo Ren. Both are the children of Han and Leia, and both fall to the dark side. During Jacen's time as Darth Caedus, he seduced the Force-sensitive Tahiri Veila to the dark side of the Force.
Tahiri was previously in a relationship with Jacen's brother Anakin Solo, but Anakin ultimately sacrificed himself to save Tahiri and defeat the Yuuzhan Vong.
Essentially manipulating Tahiri's grief over the loss of Anakin, Jacen seduced Tahiri to the dark side and made her his apprentice.
Jacen and Tahiri are not explicitly written as a couple, but it is heavily implied in a very uncomfortable way, especially considering their past relationships with Anakin Solo.
10 Saved: Wedge Antilles and Iella Wessiri
Many fans are still disappointed by the absence of pilot Wedge Antilles in the sequel trilogy films. Legends content, on the other hand, focused on the character quite a bit in the aftermath of Return of the Jedi.
The whole relationship revealed a side of Wedge that fans never got to experience in the original trilogy.
The pilot was shown to be a true romantic as he developed a relationship with Iella Wessiri. Unlike most Star Wars couples, they were close friends for a long time before ever becoming romantic and they actually went through the phases of courtship, dating, proposal, and marriage.
They were often separated because of their careers, but it made them value their time together and their ultimate confession of love all the more beautiful.
9 Saved: Shara Bey and Kes Dameron
Poe Dameron's parents played crucial roles in the fight against the Galactic Empire. Fighting with the Rebellion during the Battle of Endor, Poe's mother Shara Bey was a pilot and his father Kes Dameron was a soldier.
Both she and her husband continued to use their skills and fight for what they believed in as they aided the efforts to destroy the Empire once and for all in the aftermath of the Battle of Endor.
Eventually they left the Rebellion to begin a new life together and raise their son Poe on Yavin 4. They are a shining example to Poe of standing up for what's right, but also remembering that it's not all about the fight.
It's about what one fights for, and to make sure the time is taken to truly live life as they did together as a family on Yavin 4.
8 Hurt: Prince Xizor and Guri
Prince Xizor was the leader of the crime syndicate Black Sun in Legends. He served as one of the primary antagonists in Shadows of the Empire, a story that takes place in between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
One of Xizor's closest allies was Guri, a human replica droid also engineered to be an assassin loyal to him. Xizor had a creepy, friends-with-benefits type of relationship with Guri.
She was built to look attractive to Xizor and programmed to be loyal and do his bidding. All of that makes them as a couple incredibly unsettling and raises serious questions of consent.
However, the relationship may not have been healthy, and instead, it seems like it was toxic for both.
This is very different than the human-droid relationship between Lando Calrissian and L3-37 in Solo: A Star Wars Story, because L3 was very much her own individual.
She had modified and improved herself over the years to function and look as she alone desired. Her ideas and loyalties were shaped on her own and not programmed by Lando. As such, it's a completely different dynamic between Xizor and Guri than between Lando and L3.
7 Saved: Bail and Breha Organa
Bail and Breha Organa are arguably Star Wars' best power couple. They led and represented their home planet of Alderaan with grace and dignity under both the Galactic Republic and Galactic Empire.
Bail dared to help Yoda and Obi-Wan in the wake of Order 66. After Padmé's demise, Bail and Breha adopted Leia despite the risk of taking in the child Darth Vader didn't know he had.
The Organas made Leia feel loved and raised her to become the incredible woman fans first met in the original trilogy.
While raising Leia and trying to do what was best for Alderaan, they also played integral roles in shaping the Rebel Alliance into a legitimate opposition against the Empire.
Before the Death Star obliterated them and all of Alderaan, Bail and Breha united in their love and with the hope that Leia was still alive and safe. Considering their many achievements and what they stood for, Bail and Breha Organa are definitely one of Star Wars' most important and underrated couples.
6 Saved: Han Solo and Qi'ra
The Han and Qi'ra relationship works well not because they make such a wonderful couple, but because of the invaluable way it shapes them as characters. They have a history of growing up together on the rough streets of Corellia that forges trust and passion between the charismatic duo.
Qi'ra manipulates that trust and passion to take control of her life like never before by ending Dryden Vos and taking command of the Crimson Dawn crime syndicate.
Han, on the other hand, loses his idealism because of Qi'ra's actions and becomes the cynical, jaded scoundrel that fans first meet in the original trilogy.
Sometimes it takes one person to change your entire outlook on life, and it seems like this is the case for Han.
Even as Qi'ra manipulates him, she reminds Han that despite the facade he displays to everyone--and without saying it the betrayal coming from Qi'ra herself--that he is a good person.
She makes Han a more hardened and self-serving person while also reminding him of the reluctant hero inside him that cares, all of which are imperative to his development in the original trilogy and sequel trilogy.
5 Hurt: Iden Versio and Del Meeko
When the 2017 Star Wars Battlefront II video game was released, fans were excited to play the campaign story mode that followed the perspective of Iden Versio and Inferno Squad, an elite force of Imperial Special Forces.
Many fans became disappointed as Iden and fellow Inferno Squad member Del Meeko quickly defected from the Empire to join New Republic forces.
Iden and Del Meeko are intriguing characters and have a fun dynamic as a couple. The problem isn't with them so much as the writing surrounding their defection. It was a bitter disappointment for many to only briefly play from the Imperial perspective, which was largely a letdown because it was marketed as a unique selling point for the game.
If Iden and Del Meeko were going to defect, it should have happened more gradually so there was more buildup to their decision. It could've ended up being an effective plot twist after playing for a while with them as loyal to the Empire.
Instead, it felt rushed and prevented many fans from getting invested in Iden, Del Meeko, or their relationship.
4 Saved: Lando Calrissian and Kaasha Bateen
This is what makes his relationship with Kaasha Bateen in the novel Star Wars: Last Shot so fascinating. Kaasha--a Twi'lek--is an old flame that comes back into his life a few years after Return of the Jedi.
It takes one special person to soften the heart of a ladies' man.
Lando was never content to settle with one person or relationship, but he finds himself falling for Kaasha in a way he never has with anyone else. Their personalities and skills complement each other really well.
They can still go on an adventure together, but also be committed to one another in a way that Lando has rarely committed.
3 Hurt: Luke Skywalker and Callista Ming
Star Wars Legends contained some highly convoluted stories, including the relationship of Luke Skywalker and Callista Ming. In order to survive, Callista Ming shed her physical body and transferred her consciousness into the computer of a ship called the Eye of Palpatine.
Years later, Luke would discover this ship and fall in love with Callista Ming. Not long after, her consciousness was transferred to the body of another Jedi so she and Luke could share a physical relationship.
At another point in time, the powerful dark side entity Abeloth took over Callista's new body in an attempt to get close to Luke and destroy him.
Legends produced a number of compelling characters and stories over the years, but the tale of Callista Ming and her relationship with Luke is a chief example of what ultimately hurt the Legends narratives and would one day cause all the material to no longer be canon.
2 Hurt: Jacen Solo and Tenel Ka
Jacen Solo--one of Han and Leia's children in Legends--had a very unhealthy relationship with Tenel Ka. Both Force-sensitive individuals told many lies and manipulated one another in various ways
. It took them a long time to even realize their true feelings for one another. Unlike many of the other couples on this list, that buildup did not feel like satisfying payoff. The road was too twisted to getting there.
It seems like severing the arm of a loved one is the way Skywalkers say "I love you."
They also aren't going to win many points as a couple when taking into consideration that Jacen accidentally severed her left arm, when training with lightsabers.
Even when the intention isn't there, it's almost like the Skywalker DNA can't help but lead to severed arms or hands.
1 Saved: C-3PO and R2-D2
C-3PO and R2-D2 are not technically a romantic pair, but they are basically the epitome of an old married couple. They were the first characters to ever be introduced in the original Star Wars.
They constantly bicker, even over the smallest of things, and they know each other inside and out.
When it really comes down to it, they're always there for one another, whether it's on the Death Star or the droid foundries of Geonosis. No matter how much time they spend apart, when they reunite they pick up right where they left off with their chemistry of lovable arguing and mutual fondness.
Most importantly, their relationship endures despite through the galaxy's many conflicts and with the passing of each generation.
Can you think of any other Star Wars couples that hurt or saved the series? Let us know in the comments!